62 year old mother (L) has Alzheimer's; she was diagnosed 1.5 years ago and is progressing quickly. She has been married to my father (T) for 40+ years and lived in same home for 30+ years. For the past few months, much of the time she believes my dad is a visitor in her home. She refers to him as the "gray haired" T, or as my dad but does not believe he is her husband. At times she believes that there are many people named T. She is also paranoid that things are being stolen and moved within the house due to not knowing who all is in the house (when in fact she loses, moves, and hides things). She gets upset when she rummages through paperwork and sees his name on their bank statements, car registration, etc. and is concerned that he is trying to take "her money" (they have had joint finances their entire life).
Her confusion about my father creates uncomfortable situations and conflict - I am trying to help my Dad not just try to reorient her as I know that approach does not work and that we should not be arguing with her, but am at a loss of what to do during these episodes that are happening more frequently. How do I help him manage this? I try to distract her or move the conversation to another topic but have also relied on a photo album that I put together with photos for them and our family to show how he has aged through the years. Has anyone else experienced something similar and what advice do you have for my dad and I? It is heartbreaking to witness this and I am fearful for his mental health and her well being.